GPS Yarn: Riverview hosts Joeys, Newington’s milestone game and Scots keen for a win
By MARK CASHMAN
St Joseph’s College Director of Rugby, Andrew Blades, is yet to experience a Riverview v Joeys fixture at Riverview first hand and says despite the fact that there will be no crowd on hand it promises to be a special afternoon.
The game generally pulls a crowd somewhere in the teens of thousands and bubbles along with a life of its own off the field, but with Covid-19 restrictions in place for the NSW GPS competition this year there will be no crowd on Saturday.
The last time the fixture was played at Riverview (in 2018) the goal posts were blown over by a major wind storm in an afternoon where the game was delayed by more than an hour and finished in the dark.
Joeys scored a try in the final minute and won 26-25 in a memorable day for schoolboy rugby.
Blades said his team had adapted really well to the fact that crowds would not play a role in any of the games this year.
“Hopefully they will all be watching the stream but the boys have adapted really well and have taken the attitude that they only worry about what is happening on the field and what they do.
“They have shown a lot of maturity in the way that they have coped to what has been thrown at them and are looking forward to this game.
“This game will be intense. They play the game not unalike us and like to move the ball around the field a lot.
“Our trial was close and they played an up tempo game drawing on their big ball carriers and the skills of the No.8 and No.15.”
The NSW GPS competition has hit the halfway mark and this round will set the tone for the rest of the year.
The teams that remain healthy during this period are the ones that will vie for the title.
Another game of great interest on Saturday is the game between Newington and The King’s School which will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first game beween the two schools 1870.
Newington was the first school in Australia to play organised rugby taking on a team from Sydney Uni in 1869.
They will play in a special black and white hooped jersey to mark the occasion and will contest the Brian Palmer Shield.
Elsewhere two teams who are yet to register points The Scots College and Shore will play.
The weekend’s round:
ST IGNATIUS COLLEGE v ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE at Riverview, NEWINGTON COLLEGE v THE KING’S SCHOOL at Stanmore, THE SCOTS COLLEGE v SHORE at Potts Point.
How they stand:
St Joseph’s College 4 (W2 +82)
The King’s School 4 (W2 +49)
St Ignatius College 2 (W1 +2)
Newington College 2 (W1 -16)
The Scots College 0 (W0 -31)
Shore 0 (W0 -86)